Below: the judging panel, from left to right Gavin Extence, Daniel Blythe, Bryony Doran, and me/Laura Wake.
Congratulations to Matt Durrant for winning Writing Yorkshire’s 2015 novel slam as part of Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Literary festival, and to runners up: Stephen Kay, Esme Jalla, and Anne Grange.
It’s a nerve wracking ordeal, having to stand up and pitch your book( in just one minute) to an audience and panel of judges, and the standard of the pitches this year was impressive. For those who didn’t make it through the voted first round, remember that the vote was extremely close between all entrants this year. Just writing a one-minute pitch is a great exercise for writing a sharp synopsis, and making you think what your book is really about, and what is its biggest appeal. Tough but necessary if you are writing off to agents and publishers.
Once through the audience voted first round, the six finalists read out their first chapters, and received feedback and a score out of ten from each judge. Prices included a professional manuscript critique from publishing company Cybermouse Media, and a year’s membership to Writing Yorkshire with 24 hour access to a writing room.
Thanks to all the competitors for bringing your stories and contributing to an exciting night of new fiction that ranged from nightclub footwear to apocalyptic Japan to oatcakes.